Where to see the autumn colours in Hampshire

Here are 12 places you can see the autumn colours in Hampshire, including many places you can visit for free.

One of the things that makes the transition from long summer days to long winter nights more bearable is the burst of autumn colour we get to see in September, October and November.

And while the UK doesn’t naturally enjoy the multitude of colour seen in places like the US or Japan, where there are naturally more species of trees, you still can’t beat an autumn walk in an ancient forest or a tree-lined avenue as the leaves fall gently around you.… Read more

An introduction to shooting with the Gun Shop, Botley

Find out how I got on when I visited the Gun Shop in Botley for an introduction to shooting sports and to experience firing a shotgun for the first time.

Whether it’s the chance to spend hours in the countryside or the opportunity to kit myself out in all things tweed, I’ve always fancied having a go at shooting.

However, it’s always looked to me like a difficult sport to get into if you don’t have the connections.… Read more

The Great Dorset Chilli Festival 2016 [review]

We visited the Great Dorset Chilli Festival at Wimborne St Giles on a sunny summer Sunday. Find out what this popular food festival had to offer chilli pepper fans and foodies.

Where would you find the world’s hottest chilli peppers?

Mexico? India? Jamaica? Dorset?

Yes, that’s right. Dorset.

Look under the polytunnels at Sea Spring Seeds in West Bexington near Bridport and you’ll find the bright-red Dorset Naga – one of the world’s hottest peppers.… Read more

Dog-friendly pubs in Southampton

This is an ever-growing list of dog-friendly pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants in Southampton and the surrounding area. Includes a description of each pub, plus where to find them.

Last updated: 8 August 2017

With hundreds of acres of green spaces, four city parks recently named among the top parks in the UK and the New Forest and South Downs National Parks in easy reach, Southampton is a great place for dog owners.… Read more

Walking the Itchen Way river footpath from Southampton to Hinton Ampner

I walked the length of the 30-mile River Itchen along the Itchen Way to raise money for the Dogs Trust’s Hope Project – a scheme that helps dogs whose owners are homeless or experiencing a housing crisis. Find out how I fared (and feel free to sponsor me).

It was probably the worst day of the summer to attempt to walk along the Itchen Way – the long-distance footpath that follows the route of the River Itchen for around 30 miles from Southampton to Hinton Ampner, between Petersfield and Winchester.… Read more